​US Justice Department to sue Live Nation in antitrust lawsuit


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The US Justice Department is reportedly suing Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation in an antitrust lawsuit, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The lawsuit is expected to be filed as soon as next month, claiming that Live Nation violated antitrust laws following ongoing complaints over the company.

Wall Street Journal reported – per people familiar with the situation – that the lawsuit comes amidst complaints over “exorbitant” fees, high ticket prices, flawed customer service, and its monopoly over the ticketing industry.

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The suit also follows criticism of the handling of Taylor Swift’s 2022 Era’s Tour when the Ticketmaster website crashed during presale. The investigation picked up traction after the incident.

Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged in 2010, and now “stifle” any competition as it takes control of more than 80% of the primary ticket market in the US, WSJ reports.

It’s also claimed that the seismic company retains control by working with the largest venues in the US, implementing exclusive ticketing contracts with the nation’s arena and stadium venues.

The lawsuit, which could come to a head in the coming weeks, also alleges that Live Nation and Ticketmaster has “leveraged its dominance”, dwarfing all other competition.

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Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, a Ticketmaster spokesperson explained: “Ticketmaster has more competition today than it has ever had, and the deal terms with venues show it has nothing close to monopoly power.”

The suit could pick apart a settlement arrangement struck in 2010 amidst the Live Nation and Ticketmaster merger, alleged to expire after 10 years.

Antitrust enforcers extended the deal until 2025, WSJ reports, after finding that Live Nation violated the 2010 pact by “bullying venues into using its Ticketmaster subsidiary.”

[Via Wall Street Journal]

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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